Even as the Vostok and Mercury programs were entering their operational phases, engineers in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were undertaking the design of a second generation manned spacecraft. The Americans began with an effort to extend the capabilities of the Mercury craft, the so-called Mark II version, and ended up designing an essentially new two-man vehicle capable of greater maneuverability, rendezvous and docking, and flights of a duration that would equal the period anticipated for the lunar mission of Project Apollo. The Soviets, apparently spurred by the goals set for Project Gemini, decided to modify their Vostok spacecraft for multi-man flights. Where Voskhod was an attempt to exploit more fully a tested design, Gemini became geared to the creation of new systems and to the testing of unproven  flight concepts that would be applied to even bolder missions in the future.
By December 1961, Project Gemini received formal approval from Washington as the second major project in NASA's manned space program; however, much of the design work had been done and many of the major decisions had already been made.27 The character of the new effort was shaped by two converging lines of thought. The most influential consideration was President Kennedy's decision in May that committed the U.S. to a manned lunar expedition before the end of the 1960s. NASA advance planners had been thinking about a mission to the moon, but in the time frame of the 1970s, dependent upon the development of a new, larger launch vehicle called Nova. This rocket would be capable of lifting a spacecraft that could fly directly to the moon, land, and then return to earth. This method of reaching the moon - called direct ascent - was readily accepted because it would almost certainly work. However, within NASA there was a group of engineers who supported the development of an alternative route involving the orbital rendezvous of two or more spacecraft.
John C. Houbolt of Langley and a group of his associates felt that orbital rendezvous promised significant savings in fuel, weight, and time, especially if it were done in lunar orbit rather than earth orbit. A lunar expedition based upon the rendezvous concept might be assembled with much smaller rockets than a direct mission would need, launch vehicles that could be available well before Nova. Orbital rendezvous had the disadvantage, however, of being a new and untested idea. No one could predict how difficult or hazardous a rendezvous and linkup in space might be. As long as there was no pressing deadline for a lunar mission, direct ascent offered the easier and safer approach, but with the Presidential creation of a specific timetable, the supporters of rendezvous could press their case for a quicker and cheaper path to the moon. The idea still had to be tried to determine its feasibility, and "Gemini was first and foremost a project to develop and prove equipment and techniques for rendezvous."28
Project Gemini was also influenced by a second important consideration, the desire to make a major jump in the state of spacecraft technology. The engineers who had worked on Mercury had seen a number of possible improvements that could have been used if they had not been held back by a combination of considerations - weight, time, and the desire to keep the first spacecraft simple. While the Mercury designers had justifiably been preoccupied with solving the basic problems of manned space flight, it had taken too long to build and check out the handcrafted spaceship. James A. Chamberlin, chief designer of Gemini, described the difficulties in Mercury brought about by numerous design constraints:
Most system components were in the pilot's cabin; and often, to pack them in this very confined space, they had to be stacked like a layer cake and  components of one system had to be scattered about the craft to use all available space. This arrangement generated a maze of interconnecting wires, tubing, and mechanical linkages. To replace one malfunctioning system, other systems had to be disturbed; and then, after the trouble had been corrected, the systems had to be checked out again.29
Chamberlin saw an opportunity to make Mercury Mark II, which became Gemini, a more easily assembled and serviced vehicle. He began by modularizing all systems and assembling the components of each system into compact packages, which were so placed that any system could be removed without tampering with another. Simultaneously, he sought to arrange most of the packages on the outside walls of the pressurized cabin for easy access; this would also permit several technicians to work on different systems at the same time.
In an effort to eliminate some of the trouble spots identified in Mercury, Chamberlin simplified his systems wherever possible. He reduced the complexity of the relays that controlled the automatic systems on board the craft. The new design relied upon pilot control with automatic backup flight systems. The result was a much simpler machine. Another change was the elimination of the rocket-powered escape tower used in Mercury, cutting hundreds of kilograms of extra weight, numerous relays, and much complex wiring. This in part was made possible by the change from the liquid-fueled Atlas rocket to the less explosive, hypergolic-fueled Titan II.* Whereas safety required an automatic abort system to propel the pilot away from the highly explosive Atlas in a launch emergency, Chamberlin could equip the new spacecraft with pilot-actuated ejection seats.
The year 1961 was a creative one for Gemini. It began with discussions at Langley in January and continued with the March Wallops Island talks regarding post-Mercury possibilities for manned space flight. By mid-1961, the desire for an advanced technology spacecraft and the Presidential decision to press forward with the Apollo lunar program had led to a concrete proposal for a new spacecraft.
Project Gemini owed its origins to its predecessor - it built on the technology and experience of Project Mercury - and to its successor - it derived its chief justification from Project Apollo's concerns. The new project acquired other objectives as well: testing of the concept of controlled landing, determining the effects of lengthy stays in space, and training ground and flight crews.30
 With the creation of a Gemini Project Office at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, the program moved into its development phase.
Throughout the development period, 1962-1963, Gemini engineers and managers worked to solve technical problems and to meet a tight budget. "Within NASA and without, Apollo and the trip to the moon always held center stage."31 Toward the end of 1963, the first Gemini launch vehicle and spacecraft were being prepared for qualifying trials. Early April 1964 saw the first of Gemini's 12 flights, an unmanned test of the spacecraft and booster which produced excellent results. Further test flights were postponed as hurricane season arrived on the Florida coast. Meanwhile, the Soviets had launched their first multi-place spacecraft.
When given the assignment to place three cosmonauts into orbit in the same spaceship, designer Korolev set about to redesign Vostok.32 Apparently, the most important consideration in his decision to modify an existing design rather than to create a new one was the boost capacity of the launch vehicles at his disposal. From the fragmentary details available, it appears that by 1963 Korolev and his colleague Leonid Aleksandrovich Voskresensky were already well along in the design work of an advanced spacecraft capable of long-duration earth orbital missions. This vehicle, which would later publicly emerge as Soyuz, was much heavier than Vostok, and the...
 ...Soviets planned to launch it with the standard Vostok launch vehicle, plus a new and still untested upper stage that would provide the necessary additional thrust.33 The evidence suggests that as this design work progressed, the Soviet political leadership grew concerned over the possibility that the U.S. would launch a two-man vehicle before the Soviets could.** In particular, Khrushchev wanted the Soviet multi-man space mission to come first to maintain the Soviet lead in space accomplishments.34 Since Korolev could not hope to perfect his advanced spacecraft and improved launch vehicle in the time remaining before the first Gemini flight, he turned to the task of modifying Vostok to carry a three-man crew.
As he approached the task of altering the Vostok interior, Korolev had two problems of equal magnitude - how to make room for three persons, and how to keep the weight of the completed vehicle as close to that of the original as possible. He first eliminated the ejection seat. This change saved weight and made it possible to accommodate three form-fitting couches. To make room for the crew, Korolev planned to have the Voskhod cosmonauts fly in a "shirt sleeve environment." The Soviet designer could risk eliminating space suits since he and his staff had created a virtually leakproof spaceship.*** Removal of the ejection apparatus would force the crew to ride to earth in the spacecraft, thus necessitating the development of a "softlanding" system. Korolev attacked this problem by adding two pieces of equipment, a second parachute to supplement the one previously used to slow the Vostok reentry sphere and a rocket-powered landing apparatus in the parachute shroud lines that would reduce the craft's velocity to less than one meter per second at touchdown.35
There appears to have been a number of unsuccessful trials with the soft landing system, including some tests in which monkeys were killed. According to an official Soviet publication, "At Korolev's instructions, a series of Voskhod-type spacecraft were launched, until he was convinced that the soft-landing system worked impeccably."36 This series included Cosmos 47, launched on 6 October 1964 and identified subsequently as an unmanned precursor to Voskhod I, which flew six days later.37 The flight of Voskhod I was another space spectacular for the U.S.S.R. On board were Command Pilot Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov;  Dr. Boris Borisovich Yegorov, a medical doctor serving as flight physiologist; and the spacecraft engineer Feoktistov, who acted as an onboard technical scientist. The day-long mission, equivalent to three man-days for the life support system, was completed without reported difficulty. Toward the end of the flight, Komarov expressed the crew's eagerness to continue the flight for another day, but Korolev, quoting Shakespeare, replied, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio," vetoing the request. Longer missions would come, but for the present it was best to adhere to the flight plan. On 13 October, the retrorockets fired, and the craft began its reentry.
As on the Vostok flights, the spacecraft's parachutes opened at an altitude of 7 kilometers. When it came close to the ground, the soft-landing system automatically went into operation. Streams of gases, expelled from nozzles in the direction of the ground, reduced the touchdown velocity to virtually zero. The cosmonauts did not feel the impact.38
With the success of this first flight, Korolev and his associates were ready to fly again. Meanwhile, NASA was preparing for a second unmanned Gemini-Titan flight.
Both space teams were fully occupied during 1965. The second Gemini mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on 19 January. This suborbital qualification test of the spacecraft's structure, onboard systems, and reentry heat protection was a success, and the spacecraft was recovered two hours after splashdown. Just over a month later on 22 February, the Soviet launch crews sent aloft Cosmos 57, a rehearsal for Voskhod II, which flew on 18 March.39 The two-man crew, Command Pilot Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev and Copilot Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov, completed a 26-hour mission, during which Leonov took the first extravehicular steps into space. The Soviets equipped Voskhod II with a special inflatable airlock, and Leonov, prior to entering it, prebreathed pure oxygen for over an hour to reduce the amount of nitrogen in his bloodstream and body tissues. After entry, he pressurized his space suit, checked it for leaks, adjusted his helmet, and tested the closed oxygen life support system; Belyayev then closed the hatch between the main cabin and the airlock. Following the gradual depressurization of his narrow compartment, Leonov stepped out into space.40 This airlock arrangement resulted in a minimum reduction of the original cabin pressure, apparently necessitated by the lack of an onboard repressurization system. The Soviets continued to rely upon a chemical bed for generating oxygen, modified only to the extent required to support a second or third crewman.
Belayayev and Leonov had to land their spacecraft manually when the solar-orientation system malfunctioned. Reentry by means of the automatic-descent sequence and solar-orientation system, the technique used in...
...all previous Soviet manned space flights, had been planned for the 17th orbit. When trouble was discovered, Belyayev asked permission to undertake a manual reentry on the 18th orbit. Korolev counted off the seconds until retrofire, and the command pilot fired the retrograde rockets high over Africa. Voskhod II overshot the recovery area and landed in a dense forest on the snow-covered slopes of the Ural Mountains. After hours of searching, helicopters dropped supplies to Belyayev and Leonov, who had to spend that night in the snow. Another day passed before the cosmonauts and their rescuers could be airlifted to safety.41 While the U.S.S.R. celebrated the rescue of the crew and Leonov's 12-minute sortie into the void of space, the American team was preparing for the first manned Gemini flight.
On 23 March, Gus Grissom and John W. Young flew their spacecraft "Molly Brown" in a four-hour evaluation flight of the craft and launch vehicle.**** Grissom and Young established a space-flight first by maneuvering in orbit. They employed the orbit attitude and maneuver system 90 minutes after launch for a precisely timed 75-second burn, which cut the spacecraft speed by 15 meters per second and dropped it into a nearly circular orbit.
Three quarters of an hour later, during the second revolution, Grissom fired the system again, this time to test the ship's translational capability and shift the plane of its orbit by one-fiftieth of a degree. During the third pass, the pilot completed the fail-safe plan with a two and a half minute burn that dropped the spacecraft's perigee to 72 kilometers (45 miles) and ensured reentry even if the retrorockets failed to work.42
The retroengines did work, but there were still some surprises. At first all went well, but then "Molly Brown" seemed to be off course.  The Gemini spacecraft produced far less lift than predicted, and as a consequence Gemini 3 was about 84 kilometers short of its intended splashdown point. After a few nervous minutes, Navy swimmers arrived on the scene via helicopter to attach a flotation collar.
With the basic success of the first Gemini flight, the project gained momentum, permitting a routine launch nearly every other month throughout 1965 and 1966. There were difficulties, to be sure, but the simplified manufacture and checkout procedure permitted holding to this busy schedule. Beginning on 3 June 1965, James A. McDivitt and Edward H. White II conducted a four-day mission aboard Gemini IV.# This was the first long-duration flight, best remembered for White's 20-minute space walk, which added a new abbreviation to the public vocabulary-EVA (extravehicular activity). Gemini IV's difficulties with a practice rendezvous meant that the next Gemini crew would be concerned with practicing that capability before the full-dress rendezvous experiment planned for the sixth mission. André J. Meyer, Jr., of the Gemini Project Office commented, "There is a good explanation on what went wrong with rendezvous. . . ." The crew and some of the flight planners "Just didn't understand or reason out the orbital mechanics involved. . . ."
Catching a target in orbit is a game played in a different ball park than chasing something down on Earth's essentially two-dimensional surface. Speed and motion in orbit do not conform to Earth-based habit, except at very close ranges. To catch something on the ground, one simply moves as quickly as possible in a straight line to the place where the object will be at the right time. As Gemini IV showed, that will not work in orbit. Adding speed also raises altitude, moving the spacecraft into higher orbit than its target. The paradoxical result is that the faster moving spacecraft has actually slowed relative to the target, since its orbital period, which is a direct function of its distance from the center of gravity, has also increased. As the Gemini IV crew observed, the target seemed to gradually pull in front of and away from the spacecraft. The proper technique is for the spacecraft to reduce its speed, dropping to a lower and thus shorter orbit, which will allow it to gain on the target. At the correct moment, a burst of speed lifts the spacecraft to the target's orbit close enough to the target to eliminate virtually all relative motion between them. Now on station, the paradoxical effects vanish, and the spacecraft can approach the target directly.43
Gemini V's first day in space was a worrisome one, during which a wire to a heater that pressurized the fuel cells was found to be faulty.  The lowest pressure at which the fuel cell would function was determined after Gordon Cooper powered down the craft and consulted with the ground. But the rendezvous evaluation pod with which Gemini V was to maneuver had already been released and had drifted away, so the Gemini crew had to practice its rendezvous with coordinates radioed to them by Houston. Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr., and Cooper would rendezvous with a phantom vehicle. The success of each "phantom rendezvous" made the Gemini flight planners more confident about the feasibility of bringing two manned spacecraft together. The next step was a rendezvous of Gemini with an Agena target vehicle.
But plans went awry when the Agena target vehicle exploded before going into orbit on 25 October 1965. The flight of Gemini VI, ready for launch with Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Thomas P. Stafford, was postponed. Walter F. Burke and John F. Yardley of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation began to discuss a Gemini-to-Gemini rendezvous within minutes of the Agena failure. Three days of intensive deliberation led to a decision for a Gemini VII/VIA rendezvous mission. The two-shot mission was inspired by the concern that the Soviets might be planning similar flights, as well as by the desire to turn a minor defeat into a major accomplishment.
That a plan of such scope could be suggested, thought about, decided upon, and announced in scarcely three days was a sign of the managerial and technical trust that Gemini had already come to inspire. William D. Moyers, the President's Press Secretary, told the news media about the plan and answered questions from reporters. Moyers said the mission was targeted for January but gave no specific date. Back at MSC, however, everyone from Gilruth on down was working toward an early December flight.44
After 38 days of extensive crew training and spacecraft preparation, the dual Gemini mission began on the afternoon of 4 December 1965. For 11 days, Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, Jr., aboard Gemini VII carried out their tests on the effects of long duration in space, especially the problems associated with personal hygiene and comfort. On the morning of 15 December, Schirra and Stafford were launched on the fifth manned Gemini flight and the first genuine rendezvous mission.## Their third launch attempt was a success, and Gemini VIA was on her way to meet VII. During the ensuing six hours, Schirra and Stafford executed a series of maneuvers that brought them closer to the Borman-Lovell spacecraft. After 3 hours and 15 minutes into the mission, the VIA crew locked onto VII's radar transponder, 434...
...kilometers distant. There followed a series of precise maneuvers that led to the first sighting of the target vehicle at five hours and four minutes into the mission. At 05:56:00 ground elapsed time, the two vehicles met in space with only 37 meters separating them; the first manned rendezvous was a fact.
There was some controversy over the claim by the Americans that they had been the first to rendezvous in space. Nikolayev and Popovich had been given credit for the same feat by Pravda when they flew together in Vostok III and IV. When Popovich was asked by an Izvestiya correspondent if it were possible to compare his formation flight with Nikolayev to that of Gemini VII and VIA, Popovich said:
I think it is possible. The first formation flight in cosmonautics history at an orbit near earth was made in August, 1962 by Andrian Nikolayev and myself flying the space ships Vostok-3 and Vostok-4. As you remember, at that time our ships came to within five kilometers distance in space. Thus, in principle, the American experiment of an orbit rendezvous repeats in some degree what we did. But of course there are differences too. During the three years which elapsed since our flight the cosmonautical techniques advanced a great deal. This allowed the Gemini-6 Command Pilot, Walter Schirra, to accomplish with exactitude a series of maneuvers to approach Gemini-7. Of course, the skill of Walter Schirra played a great part in it.45
Wally Schirra saw more to rendezvous than Popovich claimed:
Somebody said . . . when you come to within three miles [five km], you've rendezvoused. If anybody thinks they've pulled a rendezvous off at three miles, have fun! This is when we started doing our work. I don't think rendezvous is over until you are stopped - completely stopped - with no relative motion between the two vehicles, at a range of approximately 120 feet [37  m]. That's rendezvous! From there on, it's stationkeeping. That's when you can go back and play the game of driving a car or driving an airplane or pushing a skateboard - it's about that simple.46
For more than three revolutions of the earth, the two NASA spacecraft flew together, separated by ranges of 0.3 meter to 91 meters, while the crew of VIA tested stationkeeping### and flyaround techniques. After a five-hour sleep period during which they had "parked" 16 kilometers away from the other craft, Schirra and Stafford prepared to go home. With a brief transmission, "Really a good job, Frank and Jim," Schirra flipped VIA around, blunt-end forward, jettisoned the equipment section, and waited for the automatic retrofire.47 As the Gemini VIA crew went through the process of reentry, recovery, and return to the U.S., Borman and Lovell worked with Mission Control to ensure that the remaining time of their scheduled 14-day mission did not hold any surprises. Two days later, after some anxious moments over the fuel cell, Gemini VII returned safely to earth, proving that man could work and survive in space for the length of time that it would take him to travel to the moon and back.
Each of the five remaining Gemini flights strengthened the conviction and technical certainty that an American could land on the lunar surface and return before 1970. On 16 March 1966, Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott conducted the first manned docking when they nosed Gemini VIII into the docking adapter of an Agena target vehicle. But shortly after the two vehicles had locked together, a spacecraft thruster stuck open, sending the two astronauts into a dizzying ride through space. They undocked from the Agena, but Gemini VIII only spun faster. They were forced to use their reentry control thrusters to restore stability, so ground control told the crew to prepare for immediate reentry. While the early termination of the mission at 10 hours and 41 minutes was most exasperating, the crew did return safely. And they had proved that docking two spacecraft in orbit was possible.
Tom Stafford and Eugene A. Cernan rode Gemini IXA into orbit on 3 June 1966 to work further on orbital maneuvers, but when they completed their first rendezvous with the target vehicle, the crew discovered a problem with the docking adapter that precluded the docking phase of the flight. They did continue rendezvous exercises, however, simulating the meeting of an Apollo command module with a lunar module in lunar orbit. Gemini IXA also provided an important lesson on the difficulties of working outside a spacecraft in zero gravity, as Cernan left the spacecraft to perform some experiments to get the feel of this new environment.48
 The final three Gemini missions in 1966 built upon the experiences of the earlier flights. They were complex missions with multiple maneuvers; they were designed to test rendezvous and docking, to explore more fully the problems of working outside the spacecraft, and to conduct other experiments that would yield valuable information for Project Apollo. Gemini X and XI reduced the worry about radiation, demonstrating that it could be avoided during trips into deep space. Gemini XI's first-revolution rendezvous with an Agena target vehicle simulated the meeting of an Apollo command module and lunar module. The automatic reentry of these last two flights gave additional proof that man could return from long missions in space with both manual and automatic control over the final approaches to the landing site. Gemini, in accumulating 1,940 man-hours in space flight as opposed to 55 in Mercury, had seasoned flight and ground crews for Apollo; had developed the techniques for rendezvous, docking, and EVA; and shown that astronauts could stay in space as long as two weeks without physical damage.
* Hypergolic fuel ignites spontaneously upon contact with its oxidizer, thereby eliminating the need for an ignition system, as well as being less dangerous in some emergency situations. If n attendance were Abe Silverstein, Robert Gilruth, George Low, James Chamberlin, Walter Williams, Paul Purser, Maxime Faget, Charles Mathews, and Charles Donlan.
** According to the U.S. public announcement of Project Gemini made on 8 Dec. 1961, the first manned flight would occur in 1963-1964. At NASA, Deputy Administrator Dryden had "long expected the U.S.S.R. to make every effort to modify a Vostok, which is large enough to carry more than one man, to obtain an earlier flight" than those scheduled with Gemini.
*** The design of the life support system had required a very tightly sealed spacecraft, because the 760-mm-Hg pressure represented the total volume of gas on board. The chemical replenishment system changed only the composition of the gases, not the volume. In the absence of a capacity to repressurize the cabin, the Soviets built and tested their craft to ensure that they were leak free.
**** "Molly Brown," the "unsinkable" heroine of a Broadway stage hit, had seemed a logical choice for Grissom's second ship, as his Mercury Liberty Bell 7 had sunk shortly after splashdown.
# After Gus Grissom had given the quasi-official name of "Molly Brown" to his spacecraft, NASA's top triumvirate, James Webb, Hugh Dryden, and Robert Seamans, Jr., decided that "all Gemini flights should use as official spacecraft nomenclature a single easily remembered and pronounced name. Consequently, the next mission will be called 'Gemini IV' and the code name will be 'Gemini.' "
## An earlier scheduled launch on 12 Dec. did not take place because an electrical umbilical connector separated prematurely; the crew did not eject but waited removal by the ground crew, something that would have been impossible in Mercury. See Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, pp. 282- 285.
### A definition of stationkeeping is "remaining in a particular, precise orbit with a constant velocity , usually at a given distance from a companion body or another vehicle."
27. Barton C. Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, NASA SP-4203 (Washington, 1977), p. xvi.
28. Ibid.; Hacker, "The Idea of Rendezvous: From Space Station to Orbital Operations in Space-Travel Thought, 1895-1951," Technology and Culture 15 (July 1974): 373-388; and John M. Logsdon, "Selecting the Way to the Moon: The Choice of the Lunar Orbital Rendezvous Mode," Aerospace Historian 18 (June 1971): 63-70.
29. James A. Chamberlin, "Project Gemini Design Integration," Lecture 36 in a series on engineering design and operation of manned spacecraft, presented during summer, 1963, at the Manned Spacecraft Center and to graduate classes at Louisiana State University, the University of Houston, and Rice University. The series was later edited and published as chapter 35 in Paul E. Purser, Faget, and Norman F . Smith, eds., Manned Spacecraft: Engineering Design and Operations (New York, 1964), pp. 365-374.
30. Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, p. xvi.
31. Ibid., p. xvii.
32. The Soviets are relatively vague in their descriptions of Voskhod and its development. See Astashenkov, Academician S. P. Korolev, Biography, pp. 226-230; and Riabchikov, Russians in Space, pp. 207-211. Vladimirov, The Russian Space Bluff, pp. 123-127, argues that Khrushchev wanted a space mission that would surpass the accomplishments promised by Gemini. Equally questioning of the design merits of Voskhod are James E. Oberg, "The Voskhod Program: Khrushchev‘s Folly!" Spaceflight 16 (Apr. 1974): 145-149; and Peter Sullivan, "The Voskhod Spacecraft," Spaceflight 16 (Nov. 1974): 405-409.
33. Apparently, the Soviets employed the Venus upper stage to launch the Voskhod. Sullivan, "The Voskhod Spacecraft," pp. 407-408, speculates that Korolev and his colleagues had to extemporize because of the tight schedule imposed upon them:
The information submitted to the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) stated that the launch vehicle for Voskhod I consisted of a seven engine launcher compared with a six engine launch vehicle for Vostok. From photographs we know that in each case five of the engines refer to the bottom central sustainer surrounded by four boosters (the 1½ stage booster) and the term "engine" means an independent unit. . . . above the basic 1½ stage booster was a long stage, followed by the standard short final stage as used on the Vostok. The reason for this inefficient set up resulted from the speed with which the Voskhod programme was conceived and had to be executed to be effective.
At the time the only trustworthy extra stage that could be man-rated was too powerful and the Vostok launch vehicle had been stretched to its limit and was not capable of launching heavier assembly. . . . Instead of replacing the final stage by simply the longer, more powerful stage, the final stage was retained as dead weight to lower the altitude that was attained. Even so, it still resulted in a much higher altitude than any of the Vostok or forthcoming Soyuz missions.
34. Vladimirov, The Russian Space Bluff, pp. 125-126; and statement, Hugh L. Dryden to PAO (dictated over telephone), 12 Oct. 1964.
35. Sullivan, "The Voskhod Spacecraft," pp. 405-406; and interview, Willard M. Taub-Ezell, 28 Feb. 1975.
36. Riabchikov, Russians in Space, p. 208; and Astashenkov, Academician S. P. Korolev, Biography, pp. 227-228.
37. U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Soviet Space Programs, 1966-1970; Goals and Purposes, Organizations, Resources, Facilities and Hardware, Manned and Unmanned Flight Programs, Bioastronautics, Civil and Military Applications, Projections of Future Plans, Attitudes Toward International Cooperation and Space Law; Staff Report, 92nd Cong., 1st sess., 1971, p. 186.
38. Riabchikov, Russians in Space, pp. 210-211. Also see memo, M. Scott Carpenter to Gilruth et al., "Cosmonaut Training," 24 Nov. 1964.
39. There has been considerable speculation as to the cause of Cosmos 57's disintegration; e.g., William J. Normyle, "Cosmos 57 Believed Destroyed by Soviets," Aviation Week and Space Technology, 12 Apr. 1965, p. 34.
40. U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Soviet Space Programs, 1962-1965; Goals and Purposes, Achievements, Plans, and International Implications; Staff Report, 89th Cong., 2nd sess., 1966, pp. 206-208. Vladimirov, The Russian Space Bluff, p. 140, states that it was L. A. Voskiesenskys idea not to pressurize the Voskhod cabin, but to use instead "a light tube. . . attached to the hatch of the space-craft to form an exit chamber. . . ."
41. Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, Soviet Space Programs, 1962-65, p. 207; and Peter L. Smolders, Soviets in Space; The Story of the Salyut and the Soviet Approach to Present and Future Space Travel (London, 1973), pp. 144-145.
42. Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, p. 235.
43. Ibid., p. 248.
44. Ibid., p. 275.
45. TWX, Rhett Turnipseed to NASA, Houston, "Text of an Interview by an Izvesti[y]a Correspondent with the Soviet Cosmonaut Pavel Romanovich Popovich [21 Dec. 1965]," 29 Dec. 1965.
46. "Gemini 7/6 Astronaut Post Flight Press Conference," 30 Dec. tape 8, p. 2; and Grimwood and Ivan D. Ertel, "Project Gemini," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 81 (Jan. 1968): 407.
47. Hacker and Grimwood, On the Shoulders of Titans, p. 289.
48. Ibid., pp. 338-339.